Research studies show that most adults gain some weight over the holidays. It doesn't have to be that way — this year can be different! Here are seven great ways to enjoy the holidays without adding pounds. From healthy eating to a healthy mind, some of these seven simple tips are guaranteed to contribute to your overall sense of well-being inside and out this holiday season!
1. Focus on tradition and comfort foods. Even though you may not be spending the holidays together, if your family makes special foods for the holidays, make sure they are a part of this year’s celebration. If you can see if you can coordinate your own food preparation with other family members. You might not be in the same kitchen cooking, but you can still cook together.
2. Consider those who are struggling this holiday season. Consider donating non-perishable food to a food bank or working with your local food bank or church to donate a meal to a family that is struggling. You can also make a little extra of the dishes your own family will be enjoying to give to a neighbor who may not be able to see their own family this year.
3. Be aware of your sugar intake. Sugar is great comfort food that usually feels good as we’re eating it, but the satisfaction is short-lived. Too much sugar can negatively affect mood, energy, digestion, and immune function.
4. Make extra protein. Protein is the building block your body needs to maintain and build muscle, but it’s also important for immune and hormone function. Protein is also the macronutrient that many people under-eat. By making extra protein when you’re preparing your holiday meals, you’re giving yourself the gift of leftovers and you’ll be able to save time, effort, and clean-up in the days to come.
5. Find a new way to cook vegetables. Spend 10 minutes looking for a new vegetable recipe. See if you can find a vegetable dish that has at least three different vegetables in it. As with making extra protein, making extra vegetables will give you a break when it comes to feeding yourself and your family for a few days.
6. If you drink alcohol, consider limiting the number of drinks you consume this holiday season. Similar to sugar, alcohol can dramatically affect mood, energy, and immunity. Try an alternative like flavored sparkling water with cranberries or other fruit in it, or find a mocktail recipe online.
7. Practice gratitude. This last recommendation isn’t strictly food-related, but it’s important nonetheless. For most people, this holiday season is like none in living memory. Document this time by photographing the meal and the people who are present to eat it. Keep a record of the recipes you used and who helped prepare the food. Ask your family, both in your home and afar, what they are grateful for and write it down. You can assemble the photos, recipes, and your family’s responses into a single document that can serve as a time capsule.
Need more help with your nutrition plan this holiday season and beyond?
Why not schedule a virtual nutrition consultation with our nutrition guru and certified personal trainer, Dr. Lucky Bennett? She can help guide you past the pitfalls of the holiday and set you up for success in the new year. With either 30 or 60 minute sessions available, working with Dr. Bennett could be the best present you give yourself this holiday season!
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please email: TWCNutrition@gmail.com.